Monsters & Critics / Dr. Akash Biaja, Jill Miller

High Heel Hell: Experts talk prevention and cure for the deformed foot

April 3, 2013

High Heel Hell: Experts talk prevention and cure for the deformed foot

For centuries, the Stiletto was the favored weapon of assassins wanting to dispatch enemies quickly with a mere thrust to the heart.

Today, women are inflicting almost equally painful damage to their feet, calves and back with “mile-high” stiletto heels.

Just ask actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who became the poster girl for Manolo Blahniks during her successful 6-year run on “Sex and the City.”

It was previously reported that after years of wearing very high heels every day, her feet are permanently damaged. She regrets the harm done to her feet, but admits she saw it coming.

Pain management physician Akash Bajaj, M.D., knows a thing or two about the damage done by stilettos. He treats women every day who struggle with the pain caused by Christian Louboutins and similar weapons of fashion. And over the last few years, he’s seen the problem grow worse in proportion to the ever elevating heels of women’s fashionable shoes.

“First, I tell my patients, don’t wear them. But knowing they probably won’t listen to me, I then tell them how to minimize the harmful effects of wearing high heels by a simple regimen that anyone can do,” says Dr. Bajaj, who practices in Los Angeles. His advice? “Wear a wedge heel for more support if you go high in the heel height.”

Make no mistake. The evidence on the long-term effects of wearing high heel shoes excessively is anything but pretty. It is similar in the way Chinese women bound their feet in the last century for fashion sake. Today’s women are also causing a change in their foot’s bone structure with some of these sky high heels.

A recent study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research indicated that young women who wore high heels habitually were 67% more likely to experience pain, and even difficulty walking, later in life.

As it turns out, women who wear high heels end up with shorter calf muscles. Over time, and without regular stretching and normal use, the affected muscles become permanently shorter, which can lead to additional back and foot pain.

“It doesn’t take a lot of effort or time to avoid the ‘Sarah Jessica Parker’ syndrome. But it’s important to address the problem before it’s too late,” says Dr. Bajaj.

Additionally, Jill Miller is considered a top fitness expert and has partnered with Equinox Health and Fitness clubs to create a new series of classes, “Series RX,” launching in June 2013.

Jill Miller is known as a “pain abolitionist” whose credentials as a fitness expert also include her revolutionary product line of balls and videos designed to teach people how to master self-care, the process of releasing built up tensions and correcting cumulative damage in the fascia and muscle from poor posture, injury and over-exercising.

She even helped TV star Kelly Osbourne in one of her classes, tweeting “Lovely afternoon with @MissKellyO rolling with a whole body reset. #LavenderAngel”

Jill Miller’s approach is all about prevention. She educates clients on how to preserve foot structure before permanently damaging feet along with her whole body self-care strategy. Her specialty Yoga Tune Up balls can be used on the feet to stretch all the tissues of the damaged sole out for relief and maintenance.

She says, “Our habits coupled with fashion choices are breaking our bodies. They may ‘look’ cute on the outside…but the X-RAY and MRI is showing the body aging and ugly on the inside. How you hold yourself matters in every moment. The build-up of these invisible changes on the inside now force Sarah Jessica to make more appropriate choices in footwear. Had she made better choices in the first place and done restorational exercises from my Tune Up Fitness methods, she might have avoided deforming her feet.” Jill Miller adds, “There are millions of women whose soles and ‘souls’ are trapped in the same mold. Heels belong on the ground, not in the air.”

Original Article

Dr. Akash Bajaj

Jill Miller